2013 Trip Nine, Dec. 18, Christmas in Santa Fe and New Year’s in Flagstaff

Wednesday, Dec. 18 Santa Fe NM

This route is bringing back memories. We traveled I-40 last spring. We ate at a nice BBQ place in Amarillo. This time around it was closed, owner was deep in debt from multiple, failed investments. We ate at a local steakhouse next door to it (Saltgrass Steakhouse) and had a great meal, well worth the 30 minute wait.

Driving through New Mexico

Driving through New Mexico

As we drove this morning, we passed the “Cadillac Ranch”, a place west of Amarillo where the owner has planted old Cadillacs, about a dozen of them, nose first into the ground. We did not stop and take pictures this time. No one else appeared to be gazing on them either, unlike last April when numerous people were exploring the site.

The western end of Texas has some rolling, eroded hills and then New Mexico starts to have mesas and buttes and finally mountains. A little snow on the ground in the shade and on top of the mountains in the distance.

Getting turned around in Cerillos Hills State Park

Getting turned around in Cerillos Hills State Park

We tried to have lunch in Santa Rosa NM on the old historic Route 66 but the place we were looking for was hiding from us so we kept on going. Lunch ended up being just outside Santa Fe in a local place, Harry’s Roadhouse.

Jude has her Christmas tree up and decorated. Dinner was cooking in the crock pot so we headed out for an adventure. Cerillos Hills State Park became a state park in 2009 and Jude had not been here yet. The drive only took about 20 minutes and the park was having a Christmas open house, cookies and coffee, etc.

Cerillos Hills State Park

Cerillos Hills State Park

It was too late in the day to go hiking on any of the trails so we will have to return at a later time. The park commemorates the mining done in the this area in the late 1800s. Turquoise was one main mineral but others included galena, copper, iron, etc. Of the estimated 5,000 small mines in this area, it is thought that only 12 were profitable.

The town of Cerillos has dramatically shrunk from its heyday when mining was popular. The park service has a new visitor center with a few displays. We talked to two of the park rangers and promised to come back again.

After a short drive to the town of Madrid, we headed back to Jude’s for dinner.

Ed and Chris December 18, 8:30 pm

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